Religious Places in Anantnag
Baba Hyder Reshi's countless miracles during his lifetime have given them faith in this shrine. He achieved these incredible spiritual abilities through intense meditation and abstinence. He didn't eat meat or onions for the rest of his life. On his anniversary, locals abstain from eating meat for a week in honor of him and to offer their respects.
Sheikh Zain-ud-din, a prince who belonged to the royal Rajas of Kishtwar, is honored in this shrine. Under Sheikh Nur-ud-din Reshi, the prince, once known as Zia Singh, left his regal life and converted to Islam alongside his mother. The miraculous recovery of Zain-ud-din from a deadly sickness after Sheikh Nur-ud-din Reshi prayed for him led to the conversion. The heir to the kingdom then surrendered to Reshi, his savior, and became one of his most devoted followers.
Sheikh Zain-ud-din gained spiritual perfection in the Sopore village of Mandjan via arduous meditation. He relocated to the cave in Aishmuqam on the recommendation of Sheikh Nur-ud-din and lived the rest of his life in simplicity and stern meditation.
His cave became a sacred and revered destination in South Kashmir after he died. In the 15th century AD, Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin built the shrine complex in the traditional architectural style of Kashmir. Different governments carried out subsequent repairs as time went.
The architectural marvel consists of two Khankah mosques and the main mausoleum, which is housed inside a deep and tight cave where Baba pondered. The Khankah is not only used for prayers, but it also houses the saint's relics, which are revered. An Asa-e-Shareef (wooden club), a bow, an arrow, wooden bread, a rosary, and a copy of the Quran are among the items.
When the village suffers a disaster, such as a famine or an epidemic, these relics are publicly displayed. The shrine is visited by people of all communities, religions, castes, and creeds, and is a symbol of Kashmir's spiritual tradition, communal unity, interfaith existence, and shared heritage.
People seek blessings for their wishes to come true by tying a sacred thread, believing that no one leaves the shrine empty-handed. Despite the fact that devotees visit the temple throughout the year, the day of the Urs, when worshippers recall the first time Baba entered the cave, is the busiest.
On that day, about 20,000 people attend congregational prayers. The practice of Zool or Phrow is done in the evening. The Dargah's entire site is illuminated with traditional lighting torches, creating a spectacular atmosphere. The devotees then crowd the shrine in procession, holding flaming torches in their hands and shouting chants in Baba's honor. They run in unison, their bodies moving in a rhythmic pattern reminiscent of Sufi whirling. The complete lighting scene, slogans, and Sufi whirling instill a spiritual feeling in the air.
The saint for whom the shrine was built had ancestors who came to Kashmir from Rawalpindi, although he was born and raised in Kashmir. At the tender age of seven, he gained sainthood under the guidance of Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoomi, who later entrusted him to Hazrat Sheikh Dawood Khaki.
Baba Naseeb became a respected sage under their patronage. Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor, gave the invitation because he wanted him to settle in his dominion. Baba declined the invitation since he was a man on a mission, preaching Islam in places like Tibet, Karnah, Iskardu, Dardistan, Baltistan, Kishtiwar, Doda, Bhaderwah, Poonch, Rajouri, and Nowshera.
He wrote roughly 22 books in Arabic and Persian to support his cause. He was buried at the mausoleum's location when he died. Thousands of people from Bijhbehara and the surrounding areas attend his Urs (death anniversary), which is marked by cultural zeal and religious intensity. The exhibition of Sufi dance known as Dhamali is the highlight of the Urs.
He was a royal officer who gave up worldly luxuries to become a disciple of Sheikh Hamza Makhdoomi, and he was driven by a desire to promote Islam, constructing multiple mosques in the process. Masjid Baba Dawood Khakhi, however, is the most respected of them all. It's because Shah-e-Hamdan, the saint who is credited with spreading Islam throughout Kashmir, came here and worshipped when it was just a platform.
In 1397 AD, his son Mir Muhammed Hamdani completed the mosque's ground floor. The last two levels were built by Baba Dawood Khakhi himself. Baba Dawood Khakhi died in 1587 AD following a ten-year sojourn in Anantnag, during which time he frequented this mosque. It is one of the city's oldest mosques, evoking tradition, tranquility, history, and holiness.
He was a preacher from a Shaman city in Central Asia who came to Kashmir in 1528 AD to spread spiritual and religious teachings. He was buried near the temple after his death in 1587 AD. People here value the Masjid because of this and the significance it represents, especially on the anniversary of Saint's death, which falls on the 8th of Shabaan according to the Islamic calendar.
Lalitaditya Muktapida of the Karkota Dynasty built the temple in the medieval era, between the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Because it was developed by integrating the world's best architectural forms, the temple design and construction style is unique in world history.
Kashmiri Hindu architects used strong square limestone bricks to create the spectacular architectural marvel, blending Gandharan, Gupta, Chinese, Roman, and Syrian-Byzantine forms. Even though it is in ruins now, the temple serves as a living laboratory for historians, archaeologists, architects, and religious scholars.
Because it is close to the Baba Dawood Khakhi mosque, the temple serves as a wonderful example of social cooperation and brotherhood. Maharaja Pratap Singh of Jammu constructed the temple pond, temple, and spring that we see now in 1910. Maharaja Hari Singh continued to renovate the temple.
The holy spring, which is located in the heart of a little stone structure, changes colors from red to green to violet to orange to blue to pink to white. This spring is thought to be the location where Goddess Durga lives in the city. As a result, the temple is revered by the whole Kashmiri Pandit community and draws a big crowd of worshippers every day.
Two springs merge out of the five, and the union is thought to represent the coming together of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in the manifestation of Shakti. On the anniversary of Swami Sivananda's construction of the temple after being guided by Uma Devi in his dream to find her holy abode in Uttarasoo hamlet, thousands of worshippers gathered.
The first cave, which runs parallel to the Lidder River's mouth, is long and dark, and was once home to meditating hermits. It has stone monuments built by humans, but no reigning deity.
An ancient Shiva Temple can be found in the second Bumzu cave, which is most likely the earliest flawless specimen of a Kashmiri temple. It is mentioned in Sanskrit's 'Rajatarangini (River of Kings),' which is a well-known historical text.
A flight of 150 steps leads to the temple, which is positioned at a height of 50 feet above the road. The stairways are built later in an enlarged fissure of a limestone rock, with a gateway that resembles the Hindu Triad.
The cave is sacred because it is where Lord Shiva told Goddess Parvati, his companion, the knowledge of immortality and the creation of the universe. The Hindu scriptures reference the 'Amar Katha' narrative, which describes Shiva and Parvati's trek to these caverns for full isolation.
Inside the mountain cave, water droplets drip down from the top and freeze into ice, forming an ice stalagmite known as Shiv Linga, which Hindus believe is a phallic emblem of Hindu God Lord Shiva. Shiv Linga's natural ice formation grows from May to August and then gradually wanes after that.
This lingam is claimed to expand and decrease with the phases of the moon, reaching its peak during the summer festival of 'Shravan,' the Hindu calendar's fifth month, which runs from July to August. Thousands of devotees from all across India make the long journey to the shrine during this period, risking harsh weather and steep terrain in response to what they refer to as "God's summons."